WASHINGTON, Jan 8 2014 (IPS) – Major manufacturing and business groups on Tuesday urged a court here to roll back a new U.S. regulation that would soon require major manufacturers to ensure that their global supply chains are free of minerals used to fund violence in the Great Lakes region of central Africa.
Yet the previous day, Intel, the major computer hardware manufacturer, announced the world’s first product formally dubbed free of such materials, stating that its microprocessors would no longer use “conflict minerals”. The announcement highlights trends that advocates of greater supply chain accountability say are already well underway, and which they suggest belie parts of the legal case against the rule. Continue reading Despite Legal Attacks, Conflict Minerals Ban Gets Stronger→
A disaffected ZANU-PF insider leaking details of fraud and inside information from an anonymous Facebook page has become an online sensation. But will it change anything?
But now, 33 years after Mugabe first took office, the icon of the African independence era is being hounded by a creation of the Internet age.
In March, a self-proclaimed disaffected insider of the ruling ZANU-PF party created the Facebook page of “Baba Jukwa”. With the disarming profile picture of a cartoon old man, Baba Jukwa traffics in political napalm, spilling damaging details of high-level party meetings, allegations of voter fraud, and embarrassing gossip – all replete with private phone numbers for citizens to harass the officials in question. Continue reading Baba Jukwa vs. Mugabe: The Man on Facebook Standing Up to Zimbabwe’s President→
The collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex in Bangladesh last April exposed the cruel link between abusive Global South factories and the Western brands they supply. But while consumers may have been shocked to learn of the Gap or Benetton’s latest designs strewn amid the wreckage of “death trap” factories, they might have missed another bit of debris: the label of the U.S. government. In fact, much of the clothing churned out by overseas sweatshops is custom-made for Uncle Sam.
Priests, brothers, and sisters in Catholic religious orders around the globe should “wake up the world” by being “real witnesses” to a counter-cultural way of life that relies on generosity and self-forgetfulness, Pope Francis told a meeting of superiors general of religious orders in November.
Those religious, the pope also added, should also not be afraid of making mistakes or even committing sins.
Carey L. Biron
WASHINGTON, Jan 3 2014 (IPS) – Shareholders are calling on 15 U.S.-based multinational corporations to ensure that their global supply chains are not facilitating human rights abuses, particularly labour and sex trafficking.
In a new campaign running throughout January, the Interfaith Centre on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), which represents 300 shareholder organisations managing around 100 billion dollars in assets, is focusing on two sectors in particular, hospitality and food agriculture. These industries – which include hotels, airlines, restaurant chains, large retailers and agribusiness companies – are seen as particularly at risk for rights violations. Continue reading Hospitality, Agriculture Firms Vulnerable to Human Trafficking→
Vatican Radio Pope Francis offered New Year’s greetings of peace Wednesday to the tens of thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to recite with the Holy Father the Angelus prayer at the start of 2014.